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Kanye West loses billionaire status overnight, according to Forbes

Kanye West just lost his billionaire status overnight according to a Forbes estimate

Bevan Hurley
Wednesday 26 October 2022 09:23 BST
Adidas ends partnership with Kanye West amid antisemitism backlash

Kanye West’s net worth has been scythed from $2bn (£1.74bn) to $400m (£348m) after Adidas ended their Yeezy partnership, according to Forbes magazine.

After days of relentless pressure, Adidas announced on Tuesday (25 October) that it had terminated its business relationship with the 45-year-old rapper and fashion mogul over his repeated antisemitic remarks.

“Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other sort of hate speech,” it said in a press release.

“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”

West had goaded the German footwear giant, saying on the Drink Champs podcast earlier this month: “I can say antisemitic s*** - and Adidas cannot drop me.”

Fortune forecasting bible Forbes had put West’s net worth at $2bn as recently as this week, but with Adidas cutting ties it drastically reduced the estimate to just $400m on Tuesday.

Forbes calculated the deal to sell the highly popular, expensive Yeezy line of sneakers was worth $1.5bn to West, across several years.

Kanye West has seen his estimated net worth plummet (Getty Images for Fast Company)

His new $400m wealth estimate is based on his real estate portfolio, cash, music catalogue and a five per cent stake in ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s firm Skims.

Fashion House Balenciaga, Vogue magazine and talent agency CAA are among several companies to have already axed partnerships with West, and film company MCR said it would refuse to distribute a recently completed documentary on the 45-year-old.

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West’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kanye West’s Yeezy partnership with Adidas was ended this week (PA Wire)

Prior to the Adidas announcement on Tuesday, The Independent spoke to several experts who said West’s net worth would be rendered meaningless should the contract be axed.

“The brand is valued based on its ability to grow into the future. That’s what’s at stake here. It’s absolutely foolish to say I’m worth X, Y and Z so I can do whatever I want,” said Americus Reed, a professor of marketing and branding at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Juda Engelmayer, president of HeraldPR, a New York-based crisis communications firm, said it appeared West had no interest in trying to dampen down the controversy.

“With Kanye, I think he’s going to keep on doubling down because that’s his personality and he still has a massive following. He has a serious earning issue going forward, but he’s got so much money I don’t think it’s going to matter,” Mr Engelmayer, a veteran publicist who advised Harvey Weinstein, told The Independent.

“I don’t think personally he has a lot to lose other than more personal reputational harm which he doesn’t care about.”

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